Procurement is often over looked when setting up a PMO. This is usually because there is some form of process for securing external resources, software, vendor, etc (or the true reality, smart people know a way of getting it done). Interestingly, the Project Management Institute dedicate an entire chapter in the PMBOK (book of knowledge) to the process (chapter 12 to be precise).
The PMBOK provides a very good framework. However, this blog is all about being pragmatic. Therefore, so that you don’t get accused of being bureaucratic, slowing down delivery, part of the problem, etc. as a starting point providing a clear concise guide to how to procure the essentials for the programme.
This will cover most needs for most programmes in financial services or similar businesses. Construction, etc requires a completely different level of procurement and hence the need for chapter 12 in the PMBOK.
For each of the above, investigate the recognised internal process that needs to be followed. Capture this into a simple guide (ideally a single page / slide). Include references where the appropriate documents / online systems can be found. A real smart move is to find a dedicated point of contact in procurement / HR to support the programme.
Make sure you include the approval process and thresholds i.e. who needs to sign-off a request for new contractor, monetary threshold for engaging consultants.
Define what the project manager is responsible for i.e. engagement of procurement, ownership of any request, vendor management in respect of project, management of risks and issues.
Define what procurement is responsible for i.e. commercial / contract discussions, contracts, risk assessments, engagement of legal, escrow policies, etc.
The PMO should then check to ensure that projects and programmes are following the process and act as an escalation point (especially where a supplier is working across multiple projects that are within the remit of the PMO).
As always, review the approach on a periodic basis and update to make sure it is fit for purpose and includes latest changes.